Before the pandemic wreaked havoc on all our lives and work from home became a health consideration, lots of us were already into the work from home experience. My Hingham, Massachusetts clients are a duel travel/work from home couple. They both traveled extensively for work but their home was also office home base for both. They lived in a lovely townhouse and for a few years, she had been telling me she wanted to bring me in to work on the upstairs “bonus room” space which had morphed into somewhat of a storage space/dumping ground as you can see below.
Her home office was in a smaller room off this larger second floor area and his was downstairs at the dining room table – which as we all know isn’t terribly convenient. He wanted to turn this upstairs space into a kind of reading room/library that also housed his home work space. The problem is – they both had jobs where they were on phone calls and conference calls so moving their offices close together posed issues when they were both home.
The large cherry stained cabinet was great quality and in good condition but very dated. You just cannot sell pieces like this these days for more than the cost to remove it from the house so they wanted to keep it if possible. I recommended we split it up, remove all the upper glass doors and paint it in Annie Sloan Chateau Gray milk paint. Mr. Client proved to be quite handy and happy to take on the task himself and over a long weekend, it was completely painted. He applied a dark wax over the chalk on the outside which gave it a nice aged look.
For the layout, we situated his office space almost as far away from hers as possible as you can see in the floorpan below. We debated putting in on the far wall where the armoire cabinet is shown, but then you’d be staring right at the desk when coming up the stairs, which wasn’t a great thought.
Now of course, work from home spaces can get a little messy and it’s nice to walk away from them. Mr. Client wanted to be able to sit in a nice cozy recliner and not focus on the desk area – which was a little tricky in this space. The main source of light was the large doors and windows across the end, so putting up walls wasn’t a good option.
I put on my designer thinking cap, did some research and came up with this inspiration image which I though was really sleek and modern. Happily, the clients like the idea as well!
And so handy Mr. Client client strapped on his tool belt and built them himself! The armoire cabinet with doors became his office storage cabinet for supplies and books, etc. And it is much more attractive when entering the space than a desk would be.
And opposite sits his work from home space. This includes a desk that raises so he can stand or sit, plus a rolling storage cabinet and a printer is tucked behind the glass door. It obscured the office area, gave him a sense privacy when sitting there yet didn’t block the light to the rest of the room. The triptych panels on the wall are sound absorbing panels with a photograph he took from a trip to Europe printed on them. (You can actually see the same photo on a standard single canvas propped up against the cherry cabinet in the before photo.)
My rug dealer vendor cut and bound this subtly modern area rug for this room as well as Mrs. Client’s office. The drapery panels are a lovely botanical print fabric that pulled it all together.
I love a cute button detail on a pinch pleat. Adds a little something something I think.
And looking back across the whole space:
What do you think – how have you dealt with work from home issues of noise, privacy, productivity and style?